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Dublin: 0 °C Saturday 19 April, 2014

Pope’s donor card ‘invalid’ because the Vatican owns his body

Despite carrying an organ donor card, Benedict will not be able to donate his organs after his death because they are the property of “the entire church”.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Image: Alessia Pierdomenico/AP/Press Association Images

THE VATICAN HAS told Pope Benedict that he is not allowed to have his organs donated after his death.

Despite carrying an organ donor card, Benedict will not be able to give his organs to a person in need after he dies because the church owns them.

Benedict has carried a donor card for many years – and a doctor in Germany has used this fact to advocate for patients to carry them as well, Reuters reports.

The Vatican reportedly asked Benedict to stop but he did not.

Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, the pope’s secretary, sent a letter to the doctor and the missive was reported in the German programme of Vatican Radio.

Vatican Radio quoted from the letter as saying:

“It’s true that the pope owns an organ donor card . . . but contrary to public opinion, the card issued back in the 1970s became de facto invalid with Cardinal Ratzinger’s election to the papacy”.

The Vatican said that Benedict belongs to the entire church and must be buried intact.

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